A few months ago I was fortunate enough to go on a press tour in Frederick, Maryland (where I call home) of various distilleries in the area. Distilleries (and breweries like here and here) have been popping up everywhere in Frederick and are totally worth a visit, whether you are visiting for the first time or have lived there all of your life.
In today’s post I am going to share our day on the Frederick Distillery Trail and why you should make it apart of your Frederick Itinerary!
Frederick’s Visitor’s Center
Start your afternoon off at the Frederick’s Visitor’s Center, which is located in an 1800’s renovated industrial warehouse, full of charm and of course history. Here you can watch Frederick’s award winning video (no really it has won awards!) on some of the wonderful attractions Frederick has to offer.
A short walk from the Frederick Visitor’s Center is McCutcheon’s Apple Products Inc. I have grown up eating McCutcheon’s delicious jams, preserves, apple cider and my favorite, apple butters. However our visit was to learn about an upcoming product offering- HARD CIDER! Be on the lookout for the release, I personally cannot wait! I can just taste hard cider on a crisp fall day…
Tenth Ward Distilling Company
Your first distillery stop will be Tenth Ward Distilling. You can read a little more about the history and my initial thoughts when they opened up a little over a year ago- here. I love this place you guys. Owner’s Monica and Kyle are so down to earth and wonderful hosts. Take a tour and learn more about their locally sourced ingredients and what new spirits they have under their belts. Then take a tasting and take a bottle (or two) home to make a delicious cocktail, like this one I made with Tenth Ward’s Smoked Corn Whiskey (my fav!) The apple jack brandy is also amazing!
Next stroll along Carroll Creek to McClintock Distilling for your next stop. This distillery is located is a beautifully renovated warehouse space in the heart of Downtown Frederick. (if you ever need indoor event space- this is the perfect location.) This snazzy place has an impressive copper still which you can learn all about on your tour. Taste their refreshing Forager Gin (my fav), Epiphany Vodka and Heritage White Whiskey. Take some home and try your hand at a craft cocktail- like the Blushing Louisa! Want to check out more photos and thoughts on McClintock Distilling? Check out my previous blog post- here.
Dinner on Carroll Creek
When you leave McClintock, you will be right on Frederick’s beautiful Carroll Creek. The Wine Kitchen is the perfect spot for dinner. Known for their great food and wine (duh) you will be sure to love whatever you choose. On a pretty day- opt to sit outside on their very large patio with ‘living canopy’ umbrellas. Make sure you order one of their craft cocktails made with local spirits!
Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery
On your next visit to Frederick (or day 2) head down 15 North to Springfield Manor Winery and Distillery. This place is like a dream people. Not only do they have a historic manor, beautiful barn, lavender fields and winery; there is also a DISTILLERY!
We had the chance to take a quick tour of their distilling process and then it was on to tasting! There is a long list of available craft spirits here, my favorites were the Lavender Gin and the various fruit brandys!
After your tasting head to the beautiful patio with a glass of wine and enjoy the day or come back at a later time to stay at in their beautiful B&B historical manor! Looking to see more of Springfield Winery? Check out this and this!
Picnic Lunch and Learning at Fox Haven Farm
If you are looking for a relaxed atmosphere for lunch, grab some picnic food and head to Fox Haven Farm & Learning Center. Here you will see beautiful views and learn all about organic farming and local ecosystems. They have tons of events year round as well as many rentals on the property for that perfect getaway! On our visit, we enjoyed a great boxed lunch from The Carriage House and listened to a presentation all about the need for apple tree preservation and good practices.
Need picnic food? Catoctin Mountain Orchard is not far from Springfield Manor and is full of local produce and products- recap here.
One distillery I was extremely excited for was Dragon Distillery. It is Frederick’s first distillery however I had never got around to visiting before. My friends have made me some absolutely delicious cocktails with Dragon Distillery’s craft spirits, but I was eager to see their production process and taste some new varieties.
Mark, the owner, was kind enough to give us a tour of the production area and a little more info on the background of Dragon Distillery. The Distillery got its name because of the owner’s love for all things dungeons and dragons. Dragon Distillery also has fun events throughout the year such as a make your own aged whiskey event!
We finished our time at Dragon Distillery with a tasting. There were so many craft spirits to chose from, it was hard to just pick 3 to try! My favorites were the Medieval Mint Vodka (which would go amazing in dessert chocolate martini and the Chainmail Cherry Almond Vodka (maybe in a Amaretto Sour twisted cocktail!?)
Appetizers and Wine Flights at The Tasting Room
By this time you should be feeling good AND hungry. The Tasting Room is a short Uber ride from Dragon Distillery in downtown Frederick. I love this place (evidence here) especially their appetizers. Try the crab dip, tuna ceviche or my favorite- the pork belly! SO GOOD! Pair your appetizers with a wine flight (or bubbly flight) to kick things up a notch.
***Thank you to Visit Frederick, McCutcheon’s, Tenth Ward Distilling Company, McClintock Distilling, Springfield Manor Winery & Distillery, and Dragon Distillery for hosting us on this fun event! And to Tasting Room for the delicious lunch!